The details of the today’s makeover of Windows Live services for mobile are revealed by Microsoft’s Keith Senzel and Martin Krupicka at the Windows Live team blog:
Great news! We are now live with our new and updated Windows Live services for mobile. Go to http://mobile.live.com from your mobile phone’s web browser and check it out. There are a lot of new features and services that weren’t even available for our beta users. We’re really excited about these new mobile experiences!
The new and updated mobile web services include Windows Live Home, Photos, Profile, People, and Spaces. These complement our existing mobile services, like Hotmail and Messenger. (An update to Hotmail for mobile web is on its way in the coming months – check this blog for more mobile news as it becomes available). With this release, we are extending even more of Windows Live to mobile devices, but with a mobile twist. To get started, all you need is a phone with a browser and a data plan. Using these services doesn’t require a download – all you do is go to the new Windows Live website at http://mobile.live.com.
There are more details by following the link and you can also hit the Mobile Live web site with your PC browser for more information before you try it with your cell phone.
One final word on Microsoft’s confused branding – these enhancements are not limited to Windows Mobile phones (that would be Windows Live for Windows Mobile). Here’s the skinny on how to get the underlying Windows Live mobile application for various phones from a Microsoft comment to the above blog post:
The problem with the protracted beta availability of so many of Microsoft’s Windows Live applications is that it is fairly anticlimactic when they do come out of beta as they did today:
Today Microsoft Corp. launched the next generation of Windows Live, providing consumers worldwide with a compelling new set of tools and services that help make it easier than ever to communicate and share with the important people in their lives, from anywhere they have Web access across multiple devices. And, with built- in security features, consumers can use Windows Live services with confidence.
A free and fun upgrade for the online and Windows experiences, the new Windows Live was launched today at http://www.windowslive.com and at events in New York and Los Angeles.
If you are still awake, here’s the rundown:
In recent months Microsoft has persuaded mobile phone maker Nokia to try Windows Live Search and support PlayReady DRM on some of their phones, but today they took a big step further with the announcement of the trial availability of a suite of Windows Live services in Europe and the Middle East on some Nokia mobiles:
As anticipated, Microsoft today launched Windows Live Hotmail worldwide with a spiffy new AJAX interface and the intent of retiring its venerable MSN Hotmail which has over 280 million users. Some key aspects:
There are more new features and aside from the nomenclature madness, this all seems worthwhile, but now begins the long transition of existing users which Major anticipates will be complete by November. I can’t help but observe that the transition would be faster if they had the Outlook Connector and the new Live Mail client ready now.
Update: Ina Fried has an interesting Hotmail background story that reveals that the new AJAX interface was deemed too slow, particularly on dial-up lines, and that was the reason that an updated “classic” interface was reintroduced to the final product at some delay.